Sunday, July 19, 2015

aMAZE-ing


Our family took a trip to Schönbrunn Palace.

It is the summer residence of the Emperors of Austria. (Basically the equivalent of Versailles for the Austrian Royalty).

While it is now pretty much just a short metro ride from the centre of the Vienna, it has extensive gardens which make you feel like you are out in the countryside.

One of the gardens is a set of 4 mazes. Here are some photos from that garden.

1. The first photo is of our children trying to find their way through Maze #1.

The six foot hedges make it near impossible to cheat.

We eventually found our way to the centre where the reward is you can climb a tree house and view the maze from above. A good time was had by all.


2. The second maze is one for feats of strength and intelligence.

Although the maze itself doesn't provide a challenge, there are 2 stops within the maze where your physical strength and your mental strength are tested.

See the attached photos for these challenges.

Challenge number one (the intellectual challenge) is a math board.

You start on the number one which is in the middle of the first row of numbers. You can move one square forward, backward, left of right. Where you land tells you the number of steps of your next move. Your job is to find your way to the centre of the board. It took us a while, but the maze was defeated! Second challenge was a feat of strength. Sadly, only Thomas succeeded. Everyone, but me, gave it a royal try. The challenge was to climb the pole and ring the bell. Oh the good old days of grade 6 when I could do a chin up for 45 seconds. That was the height of my power in terms of upper body strength. I could never climb the gym rope at school, which would have been a cake walk compared to this hot and slippery pole. Glad Thomas didn't take after me.

 3. The last 2 photos are of the final maze.

It was a pleasant one way walk through a maze make from a small 3-4 foot hedge.

No tricks here, but a pleasant 10 minute stroll to get through the entire maze.

Within the maze were several games to play.

One game was a piano box. Nine squares that you could dance on to make music. Hebe, Thomas and Catie all gave it a go. Another game was a house of mirrors. Can you figure out how I took this selfie of myself within the maze? 

Interestingly, there was one final game in this maze which was a set of 5 stepping stones over a pond. You had to walk across the stones to the other side without getting wet. There were 2 water sprinklers set up near the stepping stones, that could be activated depending on where and when you stepped on each stone. If you activated it, you would get sprayed with water.

The kids were enjoying this game while I was playing in the house of mirrors. Suddenly I heard a huge splash followed by several gasps. I immediately knew that wasn't a normal sound, and it likely had something to do with one of my children. By the time I got there, Eric was fishing Hebe out of the pond. This was one time, when I was grateful for the hot weather, as we had no change of clothes for Hebe. She would have to drip dry. Hebe's response was perfect. "That was refreshing".


Like mother, like daughter.

At least Hebe choose a better location and time for taking an unexpected dip in a public fountain.

 (My unexpected dip for those not familiar with that story was in the Market Mall Fountain in the dead of winter while I was being babysat by Fiona Hasegawa. A story for another day.)

I think you are all aMAZE-ing.

Wishing we could have spent this day with all of you.

Catherine

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